Cliff Avril flying to Seattle for a visit with the Seahawks
Albert Breer has reported via Twitter that the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions free agent defensive end Cliff Avril have reached an agreement. No terms are known at this time. Avril is reportedly on his way to Seattle, potentially to sign a contract.
If these reports are true, it means Seattle will be adding one of the best pass rushers available in free agency. As Seahawk fans know, getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks is by far the biggest weakness on the team. Avril would significantly help the Seahawks in their quest to winning a Super Bowl.
Even if Avril is added, however, there is much more work to be done. Chris Clemons had been Seattle’s most consistent pass rusher, but he tore an ACL in the playoff loss at Washington in January. Avril would only replace Clemons, who most likely won’t be ready to start the year, and the Seattle pass rush still wasn’t good enough when he was healthy. While the Avril signing would be exciting, the fact of the matter is that Clemons has 33.5 sacks over the past three years while Avril does not have that many, so more improvement along the defensive front is necessary.
The potential Avril signing still means the Seahawks would need an interior pass rusher because their best from last season, Jason Jones, signed with the Detroit Lions earlier today. Indications point to this being a swap between the Seahawks and Lions. Free agent defensive tackle Alan Branch may not be back with the team as well.
The Seahawks know they are close to winning a Super Bowl and their off-season moves up to this point indicate they going for it all. If they can find an interior defensive lineman who can generate consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks, I would say they should be the favorites to hoist the Lombardi next February.